The second Republican presidential candidate debate will be held at the Reagan Presidential Library. The significance of the location is on purpose. Any objective analysis of the Reagan presidency shows it was at best a very average presidency. He did some good things; did some bad things. Plagued by scandal, be it Iran-Contra or cabinet appointees gone bad. But his avuncular grandfatherly image, assassination attempt and early onset Alzheimer’s in his second term let him slide on these issues. His most significant achievement can be summed up in two words: “Reagan Democrats.” All this gave Republican operatives the opportunity early on to rewrite history in order to claim that Reagan was our greatest president. Since then every Republican with an agenda would claim that this is what Reagan would do; even if it wasn’t. Especially if it wasn’t.
So having the debate at Reagan’s Presidential Library gives the candidates free license to invoke the spirit of Reagan to justify their positions.